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View Diary: Will the Rs have a brokered convention this year? (132 comments)

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  •  This is the brokering phase (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    forester, Kimball Cross, gtomkins

    Among other things, the early primary calendar guarantees that the one who raises the most money wins the nomination. What really both parties have done is exchange the July-August of Year 4 system of hashing out a nominee at the convention, in part based on beauty-contest primaries in a small number of states, with a year three brokering in which debates and straw polls are used to impress donors, but also when donors make decisions  that will lock up who has the funds to do enough media and GOTV quickly in January, February and March.

    It is really a fluke that the Dems had a real contest last time. But the GOP really never wanted to replace having nominations decided behind the scenes, and this system I've described simply replaced the convention system.

    It's still brokering.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 04:45:29 AM PDT

    •  All those intermediate steps (0+ / 0-)

      There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.

      The problem with the idea that anyone designed the current way of doing things (I'm not going to call it a system, because I really don't think its features are at all systematic.) is that it leaves so many hard-to-control steps in between where you locate the brokering -- very early and among the money guys and gals -- and what still has to happen to win the nomination, x number of votes on the convention floor.  If you're even a little bit off in your calculation of the margin in some primary, you're off by dozens to hundreds in delegates.  And that's in primary elections whose unpredictable turnout make them much harder to predict, even the day before the election, much less back some time in Year 3 when they're lining up their early money.  Caucuses are even harder to control, more subject to centrifugal forces and the luck of who can be attracted to these even lower turn-out events.

      If there were any intelligence at work here that wanted to take the nomination decision out of the conventions' hands and place it anywhere else, they would have done a better job of it.  I see this as analogus to the so-called, and wrong-headedly so-called, Imperial Presidency vs Congress.  I think it much more realistic to see the process of power passing from Congress to president as that of an abdicating Congress than a grasping president.  We have abdicating conventions, abdicating parties, and their powerlessness has left a vacuum that has been filled by a willy-nilly non-system.  Of course non-systems favor the wealthy.  The less the Republic's affairs are managed by public institutions like legislatures and conventions, of course the more inertia throws them into the hands of the back-room boys and girls.  

      If this wasn't the work of inertia and entropy, if it had been a mechanism commissioned by the people with the money, the work would be more intelligently wrought, less Rube Goldberg-like.

      We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

      by gtomkins on Thu Oct 20, 2011 at 08:40:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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